Yesterday, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) argued that he opposed repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and disagreed with the Pentagon’s study of the issue because “this study was directed at how to implement the repeal, not whether the repeal should take place or not.” “I wanted a study to determine the effects of the repeal on battle effectiveness and morale. What this study is, is designed to do is, is to find out how the repeal could be implemented,” he said. This afternoon, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) distanced himself from McCain — his “best friend in the Senate” whom he endorsed over President Obama in 2008 — telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “in this case I disagree strongly with my friend John McCain”:
LIEBERMAN: I was so encouraged by the first indications of the study that’s been done, thousands and thousands of our military personnel and their families question, more than 70% apparently said, no problem, because, in the classic situation, when you’re in battle, you don’t care what anybody’s sexual orientation or race or gender or nationality or religion is. You care about whether they’re going to fight well. […]
I’m not giving up on us doing a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t tell during the lame duck session. To make that possible, I hope that the Defense Department can find a way to issue this report that they’ve got pretty much done, but going through clearance now, as quickly as possible and certainly before December 1st. We’ve got time to do this, and it’s the right thing to do.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has encouraged the Congress to pass repeal during the lame duck session but has refused to move up the release of the study. “The full report will be made public for all to review early next month,” DoD spokesman Geoff Morrell insisted on Friday.